Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The flood of refugees, the stonewall of Chilcot

The dog ate his homework?  John Chilcot's tried every excuse but that one -- thus far.  The chair of the Iraqi Inquiry is in the news cycle.  ITV reports that Chilcot has declared the Inquiry's report will be published "as soon as I am able."

Roweman Mason (Guardian) explains:

Sir John Chilcot has received responses from all of the people criticised in his report into the Iraq war, clearing the final external obstacle to its publication six years after the inquiry began.
In a letter to the Commons foreign affairs committee, Chilcot confirmed the end of the so-called Maxwellisation process, in which those who are mentioned negatively in the report are given a right of reply.

However, he still refused to name a date for the publication of the final document, saying only that he would reveal a timetable as soon as he is able.

Chris Ames (Iraq Inquiry Digest) sums up the latest as follows, "So the ball is now back in Chilcot’s court and he is signalling that it will be a while before he can play it. He has again broken down what needs to be done to complete the report into two stages: 1) work out what needs to be done; 2) do it. He doesn’t know how long either stage will take so we should not hold our breath."

Meanwhile Tim Arango (New York Times) covers the refugee crisis:

After years of violence and unmet promises for democracy by a corrupt political elite, Iraqis who resisted leaving during previous crises are now embarking on the country’s next great wave of emigration, an exodus that leaders warn is further tearing at the country at a time when its unity, more than ever, is threatened by the militants of the Islamic State.

The greatest threat to Iraq's unity has always been its government (followed by the US government).  Iraqis sought a national identity, for example, as the 2009 and 2010 election results underscored.  But it was US President Barack Obama who overturned the 2010 results to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  And it was Nouri's second term that further shattered the country.

Haider al-Abadi has now had over a year to prove he was different from Nouri al-Maliki; however, his term as prime minister has yet to deliver on basic promises.

(And the laughable column with his name on it in today's Wall St. Journal will probably be about as helpful as the phone call with US Vice President Joe Biden was last night.)

In response to the refugee crisis, who's doing what?

The Guardian notes Tony Abbott, prime minister of Australia, declared this morning that Australia will take in 12,000 refugees -- though it appears these will only be Syrian refugees.  With regards to Iraq?  BBC News reports:

Australia will also give A$44m ($32m; £21m) to the UN to directly pay for the support of 240,000 displaced people in countries neighbouring Syria and Iraq.
That would increase Australia's total humanitarian aid to the Syria and Iraq conflicts to A$230m since 2011, Mr Abbott said

And that's apparently it.

When Senator Ted Kennedy was alive, he could press Barack (and embarrass him) enough to get some sort of Iraqi refugee program moving.  But he's gone and no one wants to press Barack these days, just to flatter and curry favor.

The following community sites -- plus NPR, Jane Fonda and Black Agenda Report -- updated:


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